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Manchester United fans from India talk about Sir Alex Ferguson
Great Manchester United players such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo came, saw and conquered at Old Trafford but there was one person who stood still and tall while managing these players -Sir Alex Ferguson - ever since he joined United in 1986 as their manager. All these players are indebted towards Alex Ferguson for the player they are/were in their days at United.

He brought 38 trophies during his span as a United manager for 27 years. The inevitable has happened for Manchester United fans with Sir Alex Ferguson retiring as the red devils manager at the end of the season. Ever since the announcement, emotions are running high amongst Manchester United fans from India, which has no dearth of Manchester United fans.

One such fan from Mumbai, Ankur Shukla told this citizen journalist , “If not this year, in the coming years he had to retire, as he was nearing retirement. No one wanted to see him leave United. But he knows better than anyone when he had to retire.” All the Manchester United fans are happy with the memories that Ferguson provided but many still cannot digest the fact that Ferguson's name will be missing as United's manager in 2013/2014 season.

Pravhat Lama, another Manchester United fan from Darjeeling supports his club to the core and holds great respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, who he believes made the present team of Manchester United. He said, “Firstly, Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) announcing his retirement was a great surprise to me as well to million other fans of SAF and United. What he has achieved for the club, I guess no other manager will be able to do it. He transformed United into one of the greatest clubs in world football. His hard work, farsightedness and his thirst quenching love for the game and club made Manchester United what it is today as the most successful English club in top flight football.”

SAF enjoyed huge success with the red devils winning a total of 38 trophies. To understand the magnitude of SAF's success with Manchester United, look at the number of titles that Chelsea has won ever since its formation in 1905 – 27 titles in all competitions. The number of titles break up in Ferguson's career span as Manchester United manager includes 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cup, 4 League cup, 2 Champions League, 10 Community shield and an additional four other trophies. If numbers speak volumes about the success of a manager, this one will even break the sound barrier.

Many fans believe that no manager would be able to replicate this kind of success, but a search for a new manager has already started. Kenny from Manipur is not only a Manchester United supporter, but a Manchester United fanatic, where he thanks him for all the memories that he has given as a manager. He said, “Sir Alex Ferguson has given 27 years of his life to Manchester United. We owe a lot to him. If we had some other manager, we would not be able to achieve the feat that we have under his reign.” As like many other United supporters, Kenny considers David Moyes, current Everton manager to be an ideal successor to Sir Alex Ferguson for various reasons.

Staying on the same topic, Kenny said, “The way Moyes has been handling Everton and has managed the post of manager, Moyes could be a good choice, as he is someone who lays down the foundation of the team first.” With football pundits across the world putting their bets on Moyes as the next Manchester United manager, he is getting closer to the most wanted job in English football. Amit Kumar Biswa from Shillong who never misses a Manchester United match said, “No one would be able to replicate Alex Ferguson's success. But if one had to make a choice, David Moyes with his strong character can be a good choice. With the low budget he had in Everton, he brought success to the club.”

The other contender for the hot seat is Jose Mourinho, but Manchester United fans do not want him. Ankur Shukla made it clear by stating, “He is not a long term coach. Yes, he can make players but also break players. Look at Iker Casillas, who has been benched by Jose Mourinho in Real Madrid.” David Moyes has been at helm of Everton for eleven years and his contract ends as the season concludes. So, there is a window for both Manchester United and David Moyes to start a new relationship. With every passing minute, Moyes as Everton manager seems to be inevitable.

Still, there would be questions as to whether he would fill in the shoes of Alex Ferguson and if yes, to what extent, as Manchester United fans are habituated to success. There were qualities in Alex Ferguson that helped him become one of the best managers of world football, a skill to bring out of the best of his players, irrespective of the position that they were placed. Amit said, “One special thing about Sir Alex is that he always gave first priority to the team and he believed that no player is bigger than any team. Apart from this, his hunger to win and the tactician he was, where he could read about the opposition made him a great manager.”

Amit talks about the determination of the manager as well and said, “He could have well retired last year itself but lost the league. He wanted to go out as a winner and he had retired in the right time exiting on a high with the League title this year.” In the past, he has always been involved in the process of helping the club grow, which may also be from the sale of players or buying players. That is another special characteristics of Ferguson, which helped him stay at the helm of Manchester United. He was a good businessman as well, which helped Manchester United become one of the richest clubs in the world.

What makes football such a beautiful game is the sheer existence of fans, who in spite of intense rivalry amongst clubs never fail to show respect to those who deserve it. Sir Alex Ferguson deserves every bit of respect that the world was showing towards him on social networking sites. One such person, Satyam Gurung a Liverpool fan from Hyderabad said, “When Alex Ferguson joined Manchester United, it was Liverpool who were dominating the League. It was only during his reign that he helped Manchester United reach to that stature of Liverpool and now they have even eclipsed Liverpool as the most successful club in England. I admire SAF for his determination, brilliant tactics, passion for the club, mind games, eagerness to win. He had the perfect vision of a manager.” Satyam had even put up a status on Facebook admiring SAF success as the red devils manager.

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